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Why These Pharma ETFs Rallied on Thursday

Sanghamitra Saha
No major economic data is expected before today's opening bell, and tensions persist over the current stage in the U.S.-China trade war.

Pharma ETFs have seen solid trading on Feb 28 as positive drug data and events in the cannabis industry were cheered by investors. Despite the ongoing controversy related to high drug prices, fundamentals appear to be strong for the space. The merger and acquisition backdrop has also been solid in the industry (read: Bristol-Myers to Acquire Celgene: Healthcare ETFs in Focus).

Arcadia Eyes Cannabis Industry

Arcadia Biosciences Inc. RKDA — which normally develops food ingredients from wheat and soybeans — saw its shares jump 49% on Feb 28 after it announced plans to foray into the hot hemp or cannabis industry (read: Top ETF Stories of February).

Congress-legalized hemp products, including most CBD, in December in the 2018 Farm Bill. This change has paved the way for the formation of Arcadia Specialty Genomics, which now seeks to tap the rising demand in the hot marijuana space.

Horizon Pharma’s Positive Trial of Eye Disease Treatment

Horizon Pharma Public Limited Company HZNP saw around a 33% jump on Feb 28 as it announced positive results in a late-stage trial of a treatment for active thyroid eye disease, or TED, per the source. The trial successfully met the secondary endpoints and realized a consistent safety profile with the phase 2 study. The company is looking to submit a biologics license application to the FDA in mid-2019.

TG Therapeutics Comes Up With Positive Umbralisib Data

This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) biopharmaceutical company TGTX saw its shares jump 31% on Feb 28, thanks to positive results from a Phase 2b clinical trial, UNITY-NHL, evaluating umbralisib in patients with treatment-resistant non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Preliminary data will be presented at AACR on Apr 1.

Decent Earnings Season

The space has been coming up with decent corporate results. Per the Earnings Trends issued on Feb 20, 2019, earnings growth in the fourth quarter is likely to be 10.2% on 7.9% higher revenues (read: A Look at Pharma ETFs Post Q4 Results).

ETFs in Focus

Below we highlight a few top-ranked ETFs that added more than 1% on Feb 28 and have been trading around a one-month high.  

First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF FTXH — Up 2.1% on Feb 28

SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF XPH— Up 2.0% on Feb 28

iShares US Pharmaceuticals ETF IHE — Up 1.3% on Feb 28

Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF PJP — Up 1.2% on Feb 28

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SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF (IHE): ETF Research Reports
 
Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP): ETF Research Reports
 
TG Therapeutics, Inc. (TGTX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Horizon Pharma Public Limited Company (HZNP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (RKDA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Trust NASDAQ Pharmaceuticals ETF (FTXH): ETF Research Reports
 
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